Memorandum for Heads of Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Aircraft Noise and Compatible Land Use in the Vicinity of Airports
Air traffic in the vicinity of airports has increased enormously in recent years and the expansion of air commerce and air travel promises to continue. One of the results is that persons and property in the vicinity of airports are being exposed to an increasing amount of aircraft noise. At the same time, our growing economy and population create pressures for increasingly intensive land use near transportation facilities, including airports.
It is imperative to the growth of aviation and to the welfare of our people that means be found to contain such noise within levels compatible with the pursuit of other desirable activities and the quiet enjoyment of property. We must do all in our power to assure that the environment in which we live is not overburdened with any form of pollutant, including excessive noise.
Various agencies of the Federal Government either have programs which affect land use near airports or participate in various ways in actions affecting such land. They must all be deeply concerned with seeking solutions to the problems of noise and compatible land use around airports. To obtain the maximum benefit from knowledge and technology developed within the Federal Government, each Federal Agency or Department should coordinate its efforts and cooperate fully with the particular Departments most concerned, which are the Department of Transportation in matters relating to the prevention, control and abatement of aircraft noise, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in matters relating to the compatible use of land in the vicinity of airports.
The Heads of the Departments, Agencies and Establishments of the Executive Branch of Government are therefore directed, consistent with the performance of their mission and the relevant legislation, to take into explicit and due account aircraft noise whenever it is relevant to any of their programs or to action in which they may 'participate, and to cooperate with the Secretaries of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development in efforts to control and reduce the problems of aircraft noise.Note: On the same day the White House Press Office made public a report to the President from Dr. Donald F. Hornig, Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, summarizing steps taken by him in collaboration with officials of the Federal Aviation Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to frame a program to alleviate problems of aircraft noise in the vicinity of airports.
The cooperating agencies, the report said, had agreed on a program aimed at ascertaining how, such noise can be reduced through design of engines and airframes, procedures and techniques of flight operations, and land use in the vicinity of airports. In furtherance of the program, the report continued, the Federal Aviation Agency had proposed legislation to authorize the Secretary of Transportation to certify new aircraft on the basis of noise as well as safety standards.
Dr. Hornig's report stated that in its first year of operation the program had "achieved an industry and government wide consensus" on two basic approaches to the problem of aircraft noise abatement: a generally accepted method of assessing human reaction to aircraft noise, and agreement that noise level as well as safety must be a criterion in aircraft certification.
The report is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 3, p. 527).